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Because of COVID-19, the need is greater

This holiday season, The Salvation Army expects to see a greater need for our services – more than any in recent history.

In Detroit, the unemployment rate is expected to be about 23% this year, and based on the increased service we’ve already provided this year due to COVID-19, we need resources to serve even more people with Christmas assistance. 

Because of COVID-19, we must start earlier

COVID-19 has not only created a bigger need for us to fill, it has also decreased the number of traditional red kettles you’re used to seeing on street corners and at store entrances each Christmas season. In fact, we could see up to a 50% decrease in red kettle funds this year due to several factors, including:

  • Consumers carrying less cash and fewer coins
  • More online shopping, which means less foot traffic in shopping areas
  • Unemployment rates
  • Recent closures of some brick-and-mortar retail stores

Our work this holiday season is going to be even more crucial to serve the most vulnerable – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or gender orientation – in your community.

Help us assist families in need this Christmas season,
and throughout the year

Donate Now

Ring the Message Out

The Salvation Army is also encouraging individuals and families to sign up as volunteer bellringers where they have an option to choose a traditional, two-hour session at a physical red kettle site or participate in a virtual bellringing shift where they can raise funds in the comfort of their own home. Volunteers who donate their time as a virtual or in-person volunteer bellringer can enter to win an Apple or Android Smartwatch as part of our Watch for Good volunteer recruitment initiative.

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How We Help

Homeless shelters

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are like those we experienced after disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Harvey. Only this time, the losses are across the entire country and will be longer lasting. And as with any disaster, we are there, on the ground, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The Salvation Army serves those in need 365 days a year through homeless shelters, traditional housing, permanent supportive housing, and re-entry resources.

Grocery assistance

According to recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, “26 million adults – 10.8% of all adults in the country – reported that their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the past seven days” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve already seen it. Grocery delivery is the most requested service The Salvation Army has been providing during the pandemic. Our food pantries and meal programs will be stretched to capacity to fulfill the need this holiday season, so we’ll need your generosity to make sure no one goes unfed.

Angel Tree Program

Economic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic will force millions of parents to choose between paying rent/utilities and buying Christmas presents. In fact, we expect an additional 1.6 million more people will seek our help to make Christmas brighter this year. In a typical year, we put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children who usually must go without Christmas gifts. Anonymous donors adopt these little “angels” in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season more rewarding for the gift giver and happier for the receiver. Contact your local corps community center to receive help from Angel Tree.

Bill assistance

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on families who were already struggling to pay the bills. In fact, about 12 million families missed mortgage or rent payments in March. Of those, 7.8 million families are also struggling to provide meals, an increase of 1.8 million families since before the pandemic. The devastation is along the lines of the 2008 recession, with 8 million families in danger of missing their mortgage payments or rent.

The Salvation Army helps struggling households pay their utility bills, offsetting the added financial burdens that come with Christmas-season expenses. This allows low-income families to maintain self-dignity and stability while keeping up with their bills and keeping the heat on during those cold winter months.

Learn more about how we can help you this Christmas.

This Christmas, help us make a difference

Help us give hope to those in need who feel forgotten.


Other Ways We Meet Needs